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Synopsis: Excerpt from Reconstruction in Philosophy
Being invited to lecture at the Imperial University of Japan in Tokyo during February and March of the present year, I attempted an interpretation of the reconstruction of ideas and ways of thought now going on in philosophy. While the lectures cannot avoid revealing the marks of the particular standpoint of their author, the aim is to exhibit the general contrasts between older and newer types of philosophic problems rather than to make a partisan plea in behalf of any one specific solution of these problems. I have tried for the most part to set forth the forces which make intellectual reconstruction inevitable and to prefigure some of the lines upon which it must proceed.
Any one who has enjoyed the unique hospitality of Japan will be overwhelmed with confusion if he endeavors to make an acknowledgment in any way commensurate to the kindnesses he received. Yet I must set down in the barest of black and white my grateful appreciation of them, and in particular record my ineffaceable impressions of the courtesy and help of the members of the department of philosophy of Tokyo University, and of my dear friends Dr. Ono and Dr. Nitobe.
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Review: For those of us trying to make sense of the world and the institutions we devise to cope with it, John Dewey's Reconstruction in Philosophy offers tremendous insight. Writing a few years after World War I, the highly regarded American philosopher chose to embrace the modern sense of scientific optimism and apply it to the search for truth. He argued forcefully that our philosophical constructions are not based in reason, but only use higher thinking to justify themselves, and that we might find better ways of living if we examine our deepest beliefs and feelings with an eye toward their ultimate effects on us and others. This experimental philosophy, pragmatism, took several steps beyond the previous century's utilitarianism and was both hailed and reviled as a subsumption of philosophy and ethics into science.
Written as lectures, Reconstruction in Philosophy is marginally less dry than other philosophical tracts, but for readers new to the jargon, some sections can be slow-going. The pleasure of Dewey's works, though, comes from the intellectual stimulation of following a brilliant mind into then-uncharted epistemological territory. The last chapter, "Reconstruction As Affecting Social Philosophy," foreshadows so much 20th-century political thinking--from across the spectrum--that it ought to be required reading in high school civics classes. Did pragmatism change our lives for the better? The very fact that we can ask such a question is Dewey's legacy; the answer must remain an open question. --Rob Lightner
Title: Reconstruction in Philosophy (Classic ...
Publisher: Forgotten Books
Publication Date: 2015
Book Condition: Good
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